Shakespeare: On the Page and in Performance
An introduction to Shakespeare that combines literary study with theatrical analysis to understand both Shakespeare’s continuing popularity and his greatness.
About this Course
Shakespeare wrote for a popular audience and was immensely successful. Shakespeare is also rightly regarded as one of the greatest playwrights the world has known. This course will try to understand both Shakespeare’s popularity and his greatness by starting from a simple premise: that the fullest appreciation of Shakespeare can be achieved only when literary study is combined with analysis of the plays as theatre. Hence, as we delve into the dimensions that make Shakespeare’s plays so extraordinary--from the astonishing power of their language to their uncanny capacity to illuminate so much of human life--we will also explore them in performance from Shakespeare’s own theatre to the modern screen. At the same time, actors will occasionally join our effort and demonstrate ways of bringing the text alive as living theatre. Plays to be studied will include Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, King Lear, and The Winter's Tale.
Image courtesy Castle Rock Entertainment/The Kobal Collection
Before your course starts, try the new edX Demo where you can explore the fun, interactive learning environment and virtual labs. Learn more.
Ways to take this edX course:
Simply Audit this Course
Audit this course for free and have complete access to all of the course material, tests, and the online discussion forum. You decide what and how much you want to do.
Try for a Certificate
Looking to test your mettle? Participate in all of the course's activities and abide by the edX Honor Code. If your work is satisfactory, you'll receive a personalized certificate to showcase your achievement.
Yu Jin Ko
Yu Jin Ko is Professor of English at Wellesley College, where he has taught since 1995. His teaching and scholarly interests have centered on Shakespeare, especially Shakespeare in performance. A particular goal that has driven both his teaching and scholarship has been fostering collaboration between academia and the theatre. His published work includes numerous reviews of Shakespeare productions across America and the globe, as well as the following books: Mutability and Division on Shakespeare’s Stage (2004) and Shakespeare’s Sense of Character: On the Page and From the Stage (2012), the latter of which is a collection that brings together essays by scholars and theatre practitioners.
Diego Arciniegas is a Senior Lecturer in Theatre Studies at Wellesley College, where he teaches Rhetoric, Techniques of Acting, Advanced Scene Study, and Shakespeare performance. From 2001 to 2010 Diego served as the Artistic Director of The Publick Theatre Boston, producing the work of Shakespeare, Stoppard, Checkhov, and Shaw.